Professionals

Thank you for your interest in our dynamic team, please click on the names below to learn more about us.

Aaron Lichtman, JD

Tara Rosenbaum, JD

Katherine O’Brien, JD

Christopher S. Johnson, MPA, MHA, LNHA


 

 

Aaron Lichtman 

alichtman@rytescompany.com

Aaron Lichtman has practiced law and advised on and led business ventures for 20 years.  His focus in the last 12 years has been on providing guidance to healthcare entities, as well as their owners and operators.  Healthcare lawyers and owners frequently turn to him for assistance on complex matters involving regulatory issues, partnership disputes, deal structure, to serve as owners’ representative, in crisis situations, to problem solve and for good old-fashion common sense.  He has recently consulted for ownership of a $1.5 billion troubled portfolio and regularly consults with several large and medium-size nursing home groups.  Among his current clients, he counts nearly 100 skilled nursing facilities in 9 states, and also consults for a plethora of healthcare-oriented law firms, a pharmacy, a growing multi-state dental practice, insurance and healthcare staffing companies and PPO entities on regulatory, structural, litigation management and a host of other issues.

Mr. Lichtman is particularly proud of his role in helping to prevent closures of seemingly doomed healthcare facilities and assisting in setting them on the track back to success.  In recent years, he has worked closely with nursing homes that were on the brink of closure in Florida, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and New York.  He helped regulators understand the efforts and achievements of the homes and helped the homes’ owners and operators understand the extra-ordinary measures available to display their true virtue.  In New York, for example, Aaron successfully worked with DOH and the Legislature to forestall the implementation of the Berger Commission mandate to eliminate 40 beds from a particular facility, which would have resulted in its closure.  In Florida, he worked with AHCA and CMS to save a facility that was scheduled for mandatory closure and ensured that it remained open while a change of ownership took place.  The new operators not only were permitted to operate but successfully avoided the full effects of the negative history of the prior operator.  In Pennsylvania, he recently assisted a Federal Special Focus Facility in obtaining a reversal of an F and G Tag that would have likely led to closure of the facility.  The facility is now a graduate of the program.

In addition, Mr. Lichtman has offered extensive advice concerning avoidance of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute, among numerous other Federal and State Statutes.  He assisted in controlling the scope and impact of Professional Liability cases in multiple highly-litigious states, including Florida, from 2000 to the present.  He has negotiated and structured acquisitions in excess of 150 million dollars in a single purchase – even during the recent downturn in the economy – and has, in recent years, acted as Special Counsel to negotiate with the Attorney General of multiple states, the OIG, HUD and others, relating to an array of regulatory matters.  Mr. Lichtman has also submitted CONs and has assisted in licensure issues in multiple states.

Aaron is a graduate of Bard College, where he was a three-time recipient of the prestigious Reamer Kline Award.  Aaron then attended New York Law School, where he served as an Associate Editor of the Law Review and received several honors, including the American Jurisprudence Award for contracts.  While at Law School, Aaron had the privilege of working for then-Federal Judge Michael B. Mukasey – performing research, writing draft decisions and participating in brainstorming sessions – who later served as Attorney General of the United States under President George W. Bush.  After working as a clerk in his second summer and throughout his third year of Law School, upon graduation, Aaron joined Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon, where he worked in the litigation department under the guidance of Jed S. Rakoff, a nationally renowned expert in fraud and racketeering who was appointed to the Federal bench by President Bill Clinton and currently serves as a Federal Judge in the Southern District of New York.  After Mr. Rakoff’s departure, Mr. Lichtman worked at Mudge Rose for as many attorneys as he could and on as many different types of matters as they would permit in the litigation, bond, real estate and corporate departments of the law firm which boasted partners such as New Jersey Governor Jim Florio, New York City Mayor John Lindsay and President Richard Nixon.

Upon leaving Mudge Rose, Mr. Lichtman started his own firm which worked on a much different model than the mega firm from which he had come.  Aaron holistically represented clients by scrupulously learning their businesses to better understand what would advance the Client’s interest and what would not.  He offered legal advice to further business interests and business advice to further profitability within the safe confines of the Law.

It is this synthesis that has primed Aaron for his unique multi-faceted role with healthcare entities. Mr. Lichtman believes that any effective compliance navigator must be thoroughly acclimated in both the business and law worlds and use his understanding of the two in advising his clients in the most effective way possible.  His belief is that often people make the mistake of violating the law out of ignorance or the false impression that they cannot be successful any other way.  At RYTES Company, Aaron strives to find another way.

 

Tara Rosenbaum 

trosenbaum@rytescompany.com

Tara Rosenbaum is a skilled and experienced healthcare lawyer. She graduated from the University of Albany in 1995 and is a 1999 cum laude graduate of Albany Law School.  For more than a decade, Tara has been working almost exclusively in the healthcare field. Her involvement began with her participation in acquisitions of Skilled Nursing Facilities in Florida  – a particularly litigious state – and New York. Building on that experience, Tara has developed her expertise–acting as outside counsel for dozens of entities and on a per-matter basis for many others. Over the last decade, Ms. Rosenbaum distinguished herself as a healthcare authority, effectively working with many types of healthcare entities and ancillary providers including Residential Care, Pharmacy, Dental, X-Ray, Risk Retention, Ultra-Sound, Third Party Management, financial services, and billing and receivable companies on a multitude of complex issues, working alongside some of the most prestigious firms in the Nation.  Frequently consulted by owners, operators and healthcare lawyers for advice, Tara has established herself as a trusted advisor on business and law matters.

Tara’s goal in meeting the client’s needs is through effective, transparent, and knowledgeable execution of the law. Ms. Rosenbaum believes that providers and not lawyers or consultants make the decision as to where they choose to live on the continuum of risk, but has found almost universally that clients choose risk out of ignorance—either not understanding the limitations which are imposed by law or not understanding the safer alternatives available to them. The owners and operators she services want to be proud of the quality of their Organizations and the services or products they provide.  They certainly do not want to inadvertently risk exclusion from governmental programs, criminal or civil prosecutions or be bogged down by professional liability or other suits which drain vital resources from patient care.

From litigation management to compliance and structural issues, Tara is praised for her responsiveness, focused efficiency and legal competence. She builds trust through her low-key, straight-forward and candid approach. Her willingness to utilize the extensive network that she has built to better serve her clients in formulating their plan for success, has further enhanced Tara’s excellent rapport.

Tara currently helps to oversee and direct the defense of professional liability cases for over 85 nursing homes in various states, has her own healthcare law practice and is an integral part of the RYTES team.

 

Katherine O’Brien

kobrien@rytescompany.com

Katherine O’Brien is a seasoned healthcare attorney with over 15 years of legal and regulatory experience.

Katherine began her career at Oxford Health Plans as a Medicare and Medicaid Service Associate and advanced into the Legal Department, where she was responsible for drafting policy language and overseeing implementation of company-wide adherence to legislation mandating patient appeal rights.  As a Manager within that department, she was responsible for compliance with state and federal regulations pertaining to patient appeal rights, as well as protecting patient rights under ERISA and HIPAA.

Katherine worked as part of a prestigious national firm, and thereafter, worked at a nationally recognized midsize firm as coverage counsel for certain syndicates of Lloyd’s of London.  Throughout her career, Katherine has counseled facilities on a host of compliance, risk management and professional liability issues.  Her focus was both proactive and reactive.

Katherine graduated from Connecticut College with a BA in Psychology, and earned her JD from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University (formerly Pace University School of Law), where she was President of the Health Law Society.  She is admitted to practice law in New York and Connecticut.

 

 

Christopher S. Johnson

cjohnson@rytescompany.com

Christopher Johnson holds a Master of Science in Health Care Administration from Lynn University and a Masters of Public Administration in Geriatric Healthcare from Florida State University. He is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in New York and Connecticut. He was previously an Adjunct Professor with Lynn University and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the College of New Rochelle.

Chris started his healthcare career in the public sector as a Health Facility Surveyor with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and a Program Specialist for the Area Agency on Aging of North Florida.

More recently, Chris served as a senior operations executive with 20+ years in the healthcare industry and a record of accomplishment delivering service excellence, and ongoing improvements for the success of single-site facilities and multi-facility regions. He is a strong decision-maker with keen ability to help define overall direction, build high-performing, ethical and legally compliant organizations, and navigate complex situations.

Prior to coming to Rytes, Chris was a Vice President of Operations with Revera Health Systems, providing oversight for nine healthcare operations in five states providing skilled nursing, sub-acute rehab, ventilator care, and pediatric long-term care/rehabilitation. Over a period of three years, Christopher drove key change and improvement in various areas, including customer satisfaction, quality clinical outcomes, and overall service excellence and value. This included driving four centers to achieve clinical excellence with deficiency-free CMS surveys, increasing overall customer satisfaction from the mid-70s to 91%, and achieving a competitive average employee turnover rate that exceeded the 40% industry average.

Chris has a particular passion for quantifying data and executing the practical application of data through a methodical implementation process to secure defined outcomes. In 2010, he was recognized with the ACHCA 2010 Facility Leadership Award for excellence in patient quality outcomes. During this time, he also served on the New York State Health Facility Association’s Board of Directors and acted as its District IV Legislative Liaison.